The Third Judicial Circuit Family Violence Prevention Council is involved in Domestic Violence Awareness Month and urges residents to support the work of Illinois’ Family Violence Coordinating Councils.
October has been designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month since 1987. All branches of government recognize the importance of protecting survivors of domestic abuse and holding abusers accountable. This month is designed to celebrate the progress made in education and services to combat domestic violence.
“Domestic violence in intimate partner situations remains a concern of the Third Circuit Family Violence Prevention Council,” Chief Judge David Hylla said. “We have created a subcommittee to improve our response in community safety and perpetrator accountability. Our Domestic Violence Accountability Court will begin to handle these cases in a coordinated response between the courts, the state, the defense bar, probation officers and service providers.”
Circuit Judges Barbara Crowder and Richard Tognarelli are serving on the subcommittee along with assistant state’s attorneys Jennifer Mudge, Tom Irvin and Kate Bucher, Assistant Public Defender Kerri Davis and other members of the courthouse staff.
To further highlight the month, Judge Bill Mudge spoke at the second annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Walk Oct. 1 at the Liberty Bank Amphitheater in Alton. The Alton Police Department and the Third Circuit Family Violence Prevention Council orchestrated a walk and those in attendance heard from Mudge and a local domestic abuse survivor.
Lt. Mark Wynn, a nationally known law enforcement trainer on domestic violence, will present training Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the convention center in Collinsville. The event will be hosted by SILEC and the Family Violence Councils of the Third and the 20th judicial circuits. This training is free to local police departments.
The 11th annual memorial service for domestic violence victims and their families will be Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Healing Garden at Alton Memorial Hospital. Circuit Judge Barb Crowder will speak along with local residents and a survivor of domestic violence.
“Domestic Violence Awareness month reminds members of the community to mourn those who have died because of domestic violence and to celebrate those who have survived,” said Judge Robert Anderson, president of the Illinois Judges Association. “We must all work, as a community, to end domestic violence.”
Every day, three women die as a result of domestic violence. One in four American women and one in seven men will suffer serious physical violence from an intimate partner at least once in their lives, according to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.
Third Judicial Circuit judges are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to hear petitions for emergency orders of protection so victims can seek protection from further abuse, be safe in their homes and get placement for child victims. The programs available through court proceedings such as advocates in the courtroom, perpetrator counseling and protection of children can only be successful if the public is aware of the help the court system offers. The Family Violence Prevention Council urges residents to familiarize themselves with local services.